Throughout its long history, QBE has played an active role in the communities in which it operates. In 2011, we launched our major global corporate responsibility initiative, the QBE Foundation.
The QBE Foundation supports charities that help people overcome disadvantage, strengthen their abilities, and live more independently, successfully and productively. Our corporate responsibility mirrors our insurance role in the community, where we assist people when they find themselves in need through accident or misadventure.
At QBE, we believe it is important to give back to the communities in which we operate. The QBE Foundation gives us a platform from which to do this with a co-ordinated approach to grants, employee matching and volunteer opportunities.
The QBE Foundation is guided by the QBE Foundation Committee which is responsible for reviewing all submissions and will make it’s funding decisions for the benefit of the community and in alignment with the philosophy of the Foundation.
Contact the QBE Foundation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are just some of the initiatives that QBE staff have contributed to.
Australian and New Zealand Operations - Helping children with cancer
Our support of The Kids’ Cancer Project has helped fund vital research and trial programs for children diagnosed with cancer. Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death of Australian children by disease and, sadly, claims the lives of three children each week. In 2016, we funded the production of an anti-cancer drug for a Phase 1 trial. The first patient, Declan, from Western Australia, was given only three months to live. We’re extremely grateful that he is still with us 15 months later and experienced none of the side effects traditionally associated with chemotherapy.
The huge success of this trial is a strong indication of the drug’s potential as an effective treatment for children with cancer. QBE will continue its support of The Kids’ Cancer Project into 2017 to fund the manufacture of a new batch of the drug, ensuring the trial continues for courageous kids like Declan.
Group – Enabling genetic testing
The QBE Foundation sponsored a team of employee volunteers including Group CEO, John Neal, in ‘The Bloody Long Walk’ fundraising event – a 35km walk organised by Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (AMDF). More than $22,000 was raised by the group, which included dollar for dollar matching by the QBE Foundation.
Mitochondrial disease (mito) is a debilitating genetic disorder that robs the body’s cells of energy, causing multiple organ dysfunction or failure. There is no cure and few effective treatments. QBE’s donation to AMDF will provide a dozen patients suspected of having mito with a definitive genetic test, eliminating the need for painful, invasive tests, and going some way to prevent misdiagnosis and unnecessary anguish.
Emerging Markets - Latin America - Aid for Ecuador
To assist the people of Ecuador in their recovery, QBE Emerging Markets organised a division-wide donation program. Donations from employees across Asia Pacific and Latin America were matched by QBE, raising almost US$35,000, with an additional US$25,000 donated by the QBE Group Foundation. The resulting funds were given to Save the Children in Ecuador to assist in their relief work, which included supporting children who tragically lost family members.
Local QBE employees also organised a drive to collect bottled water, food and basic necessities for people in the most affected areas. QBE has been present in Ecuador since 1992 and today is the third largest private general insurer in the country.
North American Operations - 'Habitat for Humanity' of Dane County
More than 100 employees in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, participated in a build for 'Habitat for Humanity', providing affordable housing for a family that may not otherwise have had the opportunity to become homeowners. Volunteers built all interior and exterior wall panels for the home at QBE’s campus, which were then transported to the build site.
As Sun Prairie’s largest employer, QBE believes it’s important to give back to the local community and provide employees with the opportunity to make a difference outside of their work environment.
European Operations - Mental health webchat service
The QBE Foundation awarded a grant to Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), an organisation preventing male suicide in the UK through their helpline, website and magazine, as well as raising awareness of the issue nationally. The charity was recommended by QBE underwriter and CALM volunteer, Andrew Coleman.
Through QBE’s funding, CALM’s helpline was supplemented by a webchat service, increasingly becoming a preferred option for young men. Jane Powell, CEO of CALM, said “Men aged 20-24 are nearly four times more likely to take their lives than women the same age. This grant will literally help us save lives.”
Emerging Markets - Asia Pacific - Relief after Cyclone Winston
In February 2016, Fiji was left devastated by Cyclone Winston. To assist the people of Fiji, QBE Emerging Markets organised a multi-faceted fundraising program. Approximately US$25,000 was raised through employee donations from across the division, which was then matched dollar for dollar by QBE, along with an additional US$25,000 donation by the QBE Group Foundation. As a result, almost US$50,000 was given to the Save the Children to help in the relief efforts. Local teams also organised a drive for clothing and household items.